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Are You Overdosing on Vitamins?

Q. I worry that people are overdosing on vitamins. They’re putting vitamins everywhere these days, even in bottled water. My medical book (20 years old) says you could go a year without any vitamin A and four months without any vitamin B12 or D. If you keep consuming these vitamins don’t they build up to toxic levels?

A. It is possible to overdose on vitamins if you are taking high-dose supplements or drinking and eating fortified foods and beverages. But we are concerned about a growing epidemic of vitamin D deficiency. Studies demonstrate that many children and adults are low in this crucial nutrient. Vitamin B12 may also be in short supply for older people and those taking acid-suppressing drugs to control heartburn.

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About the Author
Terry Graedon, PhD, is a medical anthropologist and co-host of The People’s Pharmacy radio show, co-author of The People’s Pharmacy syndicated newspaper columns and numerous books, and co-founder of The People’s Pharmacy website. Terry taught in the Duke University School of Nursing and was an adjunct assistant professor in the Department of Anthropology. She is a Fellow of the Society of Applied Anthropology. Terry is one of the country's leading authorities on the science behind folk remedies..
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